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Podcast | Collegiate athletics and esports

Higher Ed Advisor: Florida Tech’s student-centered focus drives its successful esports program

Welcome to Higher Ed Advisor, the Baker Tilly podcast series where we speak with higher education industry leaders about practical and proactive guidance to help colleges and universities protect and enhance their value.

Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its esports program launched by the university’s esports director, Dana Hustedt. In this episode of Higher Ed Advisor, Dana joined us to discuss how she helped start the university’s first esports program as she transformed student survey responses and student-run clubs into an initiative that propelled the university into the exciting space of collegiate esports. She also explored factors that influenced the institution to jumpstart its esports program, like building on its large campus gaming population and integrating the student overlap from Florida Tech’s programs as a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) institution.

Plus, Dana shares how to build a successful esports program on college campuses, such as:

  • Understanding how esports responds to student needs and serves as a differentiator for institutions
  • Obtaining buy-in from leadership and decision-makers as well as support from sponsors and alumni
  • Investing in infrastructure beyond equipment and software to include staff members to help build the esports experience and program structure
  • Planning and preparing for what the future of esports on campus looks like now, for tomorrow

Interested in more podcasts on collegiate athletics topics?

Meet this episode's guest speaker

  • Dana Hustedt, Esports Director at Florida Tech
College student playing video game for esports team

Esports evaluation guide 2.0: A deeper dive into establishing or enhancing an esports program at your institution

Developing an engaging and inclusive collegiate esports program requires a solid framework and strategic plan to meet growing student interest and revenue opportunities. Our esports guide 2.0 offers seven key steps to evaluate, establish or enhance your institution’s esports team.

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